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Twenty years pass, RI stays the same

Acclaim for dubious deeds is an Ocean State mainstay
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  May 7, 2008

Phillipe + Jorge were graciously asked to recall Rhode Island’s Monthly’s first dubious achievement-style Rhode Island Red Awards, as chosen in 1988 by your superior correspondents, during the mag’s 20th anniversary gala last week.

Although the performance went over like a lead balloon, because: a) we sucked; b) the older attendees can’t remember that far back; c) half the crowd wasn’t yet in junior high then; d) the attendees couldn’t give a shit; and/or e) all of the above, we will share our top two highlights from that magical year. (Hell, any year is magical if you’re still alive.) To wit:

People always wonder how former House Speaker Matty Smith got his nickname of  “Milkshake Matty,” a tale that P+J got firsthand from a State House intern.

The recipe for the Matty Smith milkshake is simple: Send one Halitosis Hall intern to the closest Newport Creamery and have them purchase an Awful Awful. Have intern dump out the Awful Awful. Rinse cup and fill with 12 ounces of cold beer. Serve fresh cold ones to Speaker continuously in same cup during long late-session evening gatherings in the un-air conditioned House.

Just say No! . . . to chocolate. On March 29, 1988, the General Assembly put its two cents in on the war on drugs, passing a bill mandating a sentence of 10 years for possession of an ounce or more of any mixture containing “cocoa leaves.”

The bill was altered — but not before passing the House — when cooler minds at Genius Central on Smith Hill decided that banning chocolate products was ill-advised, and that “coca,” not “cocoa” leaves, provide the active ingredient in cocaine. 

In a tribute to the 1980s, P&J then headed off to the men’s room to snort some Ovaltine. How far we have come, eh, kiddies?

Supreme behavior
No one had more fun last week than BeloJo editorial page head ramrod Bob Whitcomb, when he ran a scathing May 4 letter to the editor, concerning state Senator Steven Alves and Frank J. Williams, chief justice of the RI Supremes.

It was from Bill Palazzo of Coventry, who had been the target of a “SLAPP-Back” suit launched by Alves, because Palazzo and his friends had dared criticize Stevie in letters to the editor of a local newspaper. Palazzo offered his belief that Williams had cut a deal with Alves’s buddy, Senate president Joe Montalbano, to build Williams’s new courthouse, in exchange for exonerating Alves from court costs incurred by Palazzo and Co. while fighting Alves’s counter-suit. Or as Palazzo put it, “It seemed painfully obvious to me that Chief Justice Williams traded his integrity and willingly subverted justice to fund his dream of a new courthouse and keep his judicial pensions intact by protecting Senator Alves.”

Jeez, Bill. What about this being Vo Dilun don’t you understand?

Headline of the week
From the May 3 edition of the Urinal:

P+J applaud La Prov Police Chief Dean Esserman’s attempt for the members of the community to see quite up close and personally how many officers are on patrol in their neighborhood. Perhaps in the future we’ll just let the badge be the visible representation of that presence? Shaved backs and bikini waxes all around, officers!

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  Topics: Phillipe And Jorge , U.S. Government, U.S. Congressional News, Politics,  More more >
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